Types of Diabetes and How they Differ

The two types of diabetes have one thing in common, and that is having above-normal blood sugar levels. But from here on, there is a wide range of differences.   

It’s challenging to separate the two. It is not true that Type 2 people have excess weight and have no use for insulin. People with Type 1 sometimes appear overweight as well.

Any doubt about the specifics of diabetes is best brought before a health specialist so that the best treatment could be recommended.

Read on for more of what we know so far about these two diabetes types.  

1. Time of onset

Some time ago, type 1 diabetes was ascertained among children, while type 2 was seen in people past 40 years of age. Experts have noticed a current trend of younger and younger people having Type 2 diabetes, and of more adults getting type 1.

2. Effect on the body

Only a doctor could say for sure if a patient has Type 1 or 2. But as a working principle, people with type 1 diabetes are incapable of producing insulin, and the effect of this is sugar gets dumped in the blood compared to being absorbed by cells as an energy source. People living with Type 1 diabetes undergo high levels of blood sugar, which have symptoms such as thirst and fatigue, but which can have more dire effects such as injury to internal organs and the nerves. These severe effects of diabetes appear in type 2 too. The difference, however, is that people with type 2 diabetes are still capable of making insulin.

3. Symptoms

When blood sugar spikes up too high, the initial symptoms and signs of type 1 diabetes manifest.  Familiar symptoms and signs include frequent urination, thirst, tingling or numbness in the feet, fatigue, weight loss, and blurred vision.

Excessive blood sugar levels can lead to nausea, rapid breathing, off-smelling breath, and dry skin.

On the other hand, the initial signs of type 2 may not manifest for many years; the disease can take its toll on a person’s health without their knowing. The first few symptoms include urinating several times throughout the day, thirst, frequent infections especially on the skin, blurred vision, fatigue, erectile dysfunction in men, and numbness in the extremities.

4. Treatment

It is crucial for sufferers of both diabetes types to be proactive with their healthy diet and proper exercise. People advised to take insulin must monitor its level around four times per day using a glucometer.

Aside from exercise and a proper diet, treatment for type 2 diabetes includes oral medication to monitor the amount of insulin coming from the pancreas. In the long run, if the pancreas ceases producing insulin, some people with type 2 may also need to have insulin. People with type 2 diabetes need to measure their levels of blood sugar, sometimes a few times per day.

5. Prevention and Cure

Currently, there is still no known way to cure or prevent type 1 diabetes. Some of the latest efforts involve working on the immune system to resolve the autoimmune response. This is alongside the proposal to use stem cells, if not pancreas transplants.

Other areas of study focus on a proper healthy diet and its implications on both stopping and remedying diabetes. A 2017 British study found that certain compounds found in meat, instead of specific proteins, ramped up the possibility of type 2 diabetes.

This information on proper diet and a healthy balance of exercise and work round up this discussion on the differences and similarities between the two prominent types of diabetes.